Does your product video convince viewers to buy?

If not, it might be missing one of three key ingredients that heavily influence decision-making. These are emotional appeal, logical appeal, and physical appeal.

Watch the following video for a quick overview of these psychological triggers.


Hungry for more? Let’s dig into each of these appeals a little further.

Make Viewers Feel: Use an Emotional Appeal

Emotion drives action.

Though this idea is now widely accepted, it was quite novel when neurologist António Damásio first suggested it in Descartes’ Error more than two decades ago. In fact until very recently, modern neuroscience largely overlooked emotion, focusing instead on the purely cognitive functions of the human brain.

But Damásio discovered that the two are actually intertwined.

In his book, Damásio cites historical cases of brain damage (including the ghastly story of Phineas Gage). And among the various examples, there’s a through line:

When brain damage hampers emotion, patients struggle to make even the most basic of decisions.

Damásio’s findings may have revolutionized neuroscience, but advertisers knew about the power of emotion long before him.

Madmen shrugging

In 1931, for example, sales letter legend Robert Collier named six prime motives — emotional drivers that make advertisements more effective. These are:

  • Gain – Be better (e.g., healthier, wealthier, happier) or have more.
  • Love – Help those that you care about.
  • Duty – Perform as expected by society.
  • Pride – Improve your social standing (i.e., “keep up with the Joneses”).
  • Self-preservation – Protect yourself and your loved ones from danger.
  • Self-indulgence – Satisfy your desires.

The strongest ads often mix and combine these motivations. But the bottom line is this: To make your viewers act, you must first make them feel.

Provide Logical Support: Highlight Benefits

Though humans may initially act based on emotion, a person will rarely follow through with a decision unless her rational mind is convinced.

A robot having trouble processing all the feels.

That’s why your video should also appeal to logic.

After you make your prospects feel that they need your product, show them how it’s the most reasonable choice.

All emotion and no substance is hype.

So be sure to also present a solid logical argument for your product. Emphasize features and benefits, a no-risk refund policy, your stellar reputation — whatever it is that makes your product worth the purchase.

Activate Mirror Neurons: Show Your Product in Use

In the 1990s, researchers noticed a peculiar thing happening the brains of monkeys they were studying.

The same neurons were stimulated both when monkeys performed an action and when they simply watched another monkey perform the action.

Monkey see (or) monkey do — these neurons didn’t seem to differentiate.

Monkey Performing a Rimshot for that Pathetic Joke

Scientists aptly dubbed these neurons “mirror neurons.” And they think there’s good evidence humans have them, too.

Mirror neurons could explain why yawning is contagious or why you feel a slight twinge of pain when you see someone else get hurt.

But this odd phenomenon also has implications for product videos.

For example, when you watch a commercial that features a person cracking open and slurping down a fizzing can of Coca-Cola, part of your brain thinks you are enjoying the cold, refreshing beverage.

The commercial essentially creates a false memory, moving you one step closer to actually enjoying that Coke.

Putting It All Together

So now you know the secret formula:

Emotion + Logic + Product in Use = Product Video That Wins Customers

How will this information change the way you approach making product videos? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.